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February 7th, 2011

You’re as Cold as Ice

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. Please leave any comments there.

I think I need to go double check the fine print on my freezer.  It’s supposed to keep things cold, yes.  Frozen, even.  And technically, it meets those specifications.

I bring my lunch to work, to ensure consistent quality instead of taking my chances with the local fare.  (Also, because I’m a Big Ugly Cheap Man Doll.)  And so in the morning, I go downstairs to the Great Ice Box and pull out a frozen something for lunch.  Luckily, they’re labeled (bringing a frozen Tupperware box of chicken stock for lunch can be off-putting).  This morning, for example, I brought a container marked Gumbo.

(I digress here to mention that why yes, I am the envy of my office when I eat lunch.)

Heating my lunch in the office microwave, however, is an exercise in patience.  I can heat water in this thing in under 45 seconds – it’s a reasonably powerful microwave.   (It can kill cockroaches - it’s that good.)   But the Gumbo – and anything else I bring in, including, say, chicken stock – takes 10 minutes or longer.  I stop and stir in the middle of it, I scrape around the edges – and the food spins around in the microwave.  Sometimes the Zip-top of the “microwave and dishwasher safe” plastic box starts to melt.  The food, though, having been frozen to a standard not usually seen outside Class 4 bio-hazard facilities, stays cool.

I’m worried that I accidentally sold my soul to the freezer.  Come to think of it, I did cut myself putting it in – could it have considered that to be a blood pact between us?  The food’s been getting colder and I’ve been feeling more and more tired in the past few months… 

Yeah, I’d better check the fine print on the manual.

Yep, looks like another post from the Big, Ugly Man Doll!

French Garlic Soup?

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. Please leave any comments there.

Since negative examples tend to be more useful, here’s something we won’t be doing for Valentine’s Day:  Choices by Shawn/  

They’re known for their gluten-free and “special menu” items, and since we have more than one diet issue in our house, and SOBUMD had a coupon, we went Saturday night, 5:30pm – party of 5 (2 adults, 2 kids and a tween).  Despite the lack of anyone else I could see in the restaurant, they sat us near the door to the kitchen area, with the huge refrigerator compressor cycling loudly enough to drown out conversation.  Maybe they saw 3 kids and figured we were going to be loud enough anyway.  Forgivable, if annoying.

The food, on the other hand…  Well, OK, forgivable.  Nothing was bad, or even “not good.”  The table rolls were on aged side, but again – not bad.  But there wasn’t a thing put on our table that I couldn’t have made better at home.  Ribeye was done medium rare, on spec and as requested (which was impressive considering how thin it was), and was decent.  Gnocchi with spinach and pine nuts was OK.  Fried chicken was OK.  Mac and cheese was eaten and rated by the 10-yr-old (who knows everything you could ask about Mac-n-Cheese) as “almost as good as Kraft.” 

The French Onion Soup was a study in hiring disaffected youth in the kitchen.  First, this was French Garlic Soup – the onions were an afterthought.  The broth was good, as long as you like garlic, but the cheese on top looked like it had come from the bag of shredded parmesan and straight to the table.  It was still cool, sitting on the top of the soup when it reached me, and never did really melt.  A quick blowtorch would have fixed it, but I’m not allowed to carry mine anymore.

Garlic is a food group here.  The French Garlic Soup was a warm up for the garlic fries, the garlic ribeye, the garlic mashed potatoes, the garlic gravy, and the garlic on the chicken.  Not that any of it was bad, but taken all together it was a little overwhelming. 

They have ice cream, homemade, and in many flavors.  We tried four of them.  Again, they were all pretty good; my coffee ice cream was in fact very yummy.   And I should mention that the glass of Cabernet I had for $7 was quite good, went well with the steak, and was a very generous pour into a big glass. 

All in all, considering the compressor, the food, and the cost, I’d say 6.5 out of a possible 10.  Nothing bad, pleasant if humorless wait-staff (“Would you like boxes for anyone?”  “I’m not sure the kids would fit, how big are they?” - got nothing), just not as good as I was hoping for with a night out.  They may do better with brunch and tea and breakfast stuff; if anyone tries, please let me know!

Yep, looks like another post from the Big, Ugly Man Doll!